Indicators for assessing quality of drug use: A systematic literature review

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



We searched and described existing drug-related indicators, and provided helps for using indicators for quality assessment of drug use and developing new indicators.


We searched 8 databases and 41 official WebPages of national pharmaceutical administration department or academic organizations to obtain literature on drug-related indicators. Researchers extracted data including basic information (countries, issue time et al.), target population, categories, and various characters of indicators. We finally conducted a descriptive analysis to summarize these indicators.


A total of 3598 literatures were retrieved, 39 of which were finally included. a) A total of 876 indicators were identified. Of which, 9.5% were structure indicator, 83.6% were process indicator and 6.9% were outcome indicator. b) Evaluation dimensions of indicators could be summarized as prescribing quality, patients' experience, pharmacy administration, drug-therapy process and cost. c) In included indicator sets, 9 were developed for specific drug, 7 were for specific disease and 6 were for specific population. d) Instructions of indicator sets were identified. 7 terms of instructions were included such as rationale, prerequisite and definition of indicators.


Most study suggest that prescribing quality is an essential dimension and process indicator was greatly considered in drug use evaluation. Drug-related indicators for general adults were relatively well-developed. There was an urgent need for investigation of drug use indicators for children and pregnant women.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles